Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Don Owens, Deputy Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7767
dowens@citizen.org

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779
kgower@citizen.org

David Rosen, Press Officer, Regulatory Affairs
w. (202) 588-7742
drosen@citizen.org

Nicholas Florko, Communications Officer, Global Trade Watch
w. (202) 454-5108
nflorko@citizen.org

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog
Facebook/publiccitizen

Follow us on Twitter

 

Oct. 6, 2011 

Occupy Wall Street: Americans Are Furious, And They Are Right to Be

Statement by Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

It’s no mystery why the Occupy Wall Street and related protests are capturing the country’s attention. Americans are furious about the state of our nation, and they’re right to be. Millions of people are out of work because of Wall Street’s recklessness. Millions more have been thrown out of their homes for the same reason. Meanwhile, the federal government fails to take obvious steps to address these problems because of the outsized influence of the very Wall Street firms and giant corporations that caused our economic problems. The country is past due for a mass protest movement demanding justice.

Occupy Wall Street has been criticized for not offering a clear set of demands. In fact, the protesters have been eloquent in rejecting the idea that they produce “one demand,” and also in articulating in broad terms what they want. More to the point, it’s not for a lack of ideas that the country is in crisis. Put the unemployed to work retrofitting energy-inefficient buildings, teaching children and meeting other unmet needs. Invest in a green energy revolution. Impose a financial speculation tax, and increase taxes on the wealthy and corporations (and make them pay). Put in place a single-payer, Medicare-for-All health care system. Undo NAFTA-style corporate trade agreements – and don’t enter in any new ones. Force banks to renegotiate mortgage terms, and let foreclosed-upon families stay in their homes as renters. Overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission with a constitutional amendment and reestablish the principle that corporations exist to serve the people, not the other way around.

The country’s problem is not the lack of a policy agenda. It’s not even winning strong public support for the policy agenda – the public does support these ideas. The problem is translating the popular anger about the nation’s state of affairs into a political movement strong enough to overcome the corporate opposition. We can only hope that Occupy Wall Street serves as a spark to that political movement.

Public Citizen stands in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. We thank the protesters in New York and at Occupy protests around the country and world for their courage, commitment, creativity and leadership. 
###
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org.

Copyright © 2016 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

You can support the fight for greater government and corporate accountability through a donation to either Public Citizen, Inc., or Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.

Public Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability. When you make a contribution to Public Citizen, you become a member of Public Citizen, showing your support and entitling you to benefits such as Public Citizen News. Contributions to Public Citizen are not tax-deductible.

Public Citizen Foundation focuses on research, public education, and litigation in support of our mission. By law, the Foundation can engage in only very limited lobbying. Contributions to Public Citizen Foundation are tax-deductible.